Sephora, United States, Founder discussed on Fat Mascara
They put a call into mother locks Yvonne Yvonne Kevin Kwan loads more and full disclosure guys. He's also my really good friend. All welcome Krill really thanks for having me. I'm so happy you're here because I've been able to like you know admiring what you do and like seeing what you do from the start but I even ask you questions like about your business because it's so cool that you're really bringing a lot of the brands and products to life in a way that you know consumer boomer see and it just this kind of like a hidden industry but you're kind of like the wizard behind yeah when I always like Oh. We worked with schoolhouse a quite a few You guys are really hot right now but you started this company when I think people are GonNa die to note. When you're in your twenties yes late twenties late twenties? I love the caveat yes so just take us back a little bit. What did you do before starting this mega company before your thirtieth birthday okay so so I think we have to go back back back because I fell in love with beauty like growing up in the south going to ECKERD's getting like you know poor strips and all of that stuff I just like became obsessed with it was doing theater and ended up needing to make an extra like little bit of money and got a job at Sephora and Sephora was like five or six years in the US so it had like red carpets that we had to vacuum every night eight cases where make it gets so dirty yes and do you remember so before when they came in the US everyone beauty. Oh Jeez okay. This is a Sephora. Oh Gee we had to wear white gloves remember. This is the leave. It was one glove. Yes it was one white glove and that's how you would present product. I mean this is like I Love I absolutely love. This is kind of Mickey Mouse Slash Michael Jackson. I know very different. Sephora I mean and you know like a very very French and and I absolutely love it and I was you know kind of gave over my life to it but I was was like stocking shelves like cleaning and then they moved me to New York because they didn't know what else to do with me. In Georgia and I ended up leaving I spacing hey apothecary. Which is where I met Jess. Do you know that I didn't realize that you came to New York with Sephora realized that like a store manager at that point now I because because I never was great at sales like I was always like making up windows and like dressing the store cool but but like visual merchandising store design sewer experience. This was like not anything anyone talked about like it's not like Chris went to school for visual merchandising and you just you just frigging God in did it before yeah it took in New York and it took them and but again like store experience was nothing like it is now and they didn't know what to do with me so I left for spacing K. when it was coming to the the US was here that took me to London which is where I met you US and then before school house I was at fresh overseeing global design. Zayn inexperienced job at fresh fresh was I mean fresh is like has a special place in my heart. It's ex boyfriend girlfriend that you stalk on instagram. Even no you know with them anymore. but it was a huge you know it was when we grew at. Sephora we launched in Asia rerouted all of our stores in the US we launch launch back into Europe. It was a huge push for the brand and and honestly it was still very entrepreneurial like it. It was myself. Levin Lena a few other kind of VP's trying and do it all now it's totally different and so we really you know that was what kind of got me to a place where I had relationships and could feel like I could could start something on my own and and survive so when you were at fresh where you visual merchandising like building out stores yes so so did you put the sinks in the stores. Yes it's all that was pretty novel. Bull Yeah and those those actually the. I think that we found for fresh. That's in Union Square was actually in an old boy scouts like a bathroom kind of changing space and it's actually from London we've fluid over from London and that's what's in Union Square. Go by. That's that's it's words from very fabulous so now you're not just doing store. Experience schoolhouse does a lot of stuff on your website. It says you do brand re positioning and brand refresh. We wanted to talk talk about this because we feel like a lot of people just think. Oh you know Pat McGrath dude ourself urban decay as like. Let's build our little thing where all the testers are going to be but really. They're coming mean to people like you so. Let's let's talk about. Can you mean example of a brand. You've worked with where you've held them. Refresh yeah of course well. I mean I think like ultimately what we do. Every day is just kind of bring out stories from founders from brands. we bring them out through campaigns. We bring them out through social. We bring them out through stores and so it's really just kind of writing the book of that brand in all of the execution that we do and so. I think a great example and one that you know is super closest Cabinet Kwan. You know amazing makeup artist what was so special about. Kevin is that he we had this ability to touch pros and non pros alike you know he would could really speak to anyone and there's incredible stories about him being on the street showing someone how to do a perfect lipper perfect is in so when. Kevin passed away the brand sort of lost that Muzak needed for a little bit yeah and so some people didn't even know that who he was or that that he passed away yeah and so we see that's really a great opportunity. Where you go in and say okay we will not you now create this brand to hold onto the past? We're going to sort of take the energy that Kevin brought every day and manifest for the future and so that is kind of it's not so much or reposition. It's just kind of a rearticulating of the same thing but for today's customer with that involve making new products or suggesting to the company. Maybe you should should make this product. Yeah I mean I think it's I think the best projects that we do. It's allowing people to think a little differently. You know even founders. I think it's hard as a founder myself to kind of get out what your vision is and you sort of need people around you that can understand it and sort of say back to you and so that's what we do a law. You know we sort of a therapist. I really honestly because you don't really see. I feel that way at times to like you. Don't see yourself. Even even you know how it's even a I don't know if I'm being to Canada but like with our podcast like I'm always asking for people for feedback or what do you think of this or you know because because we're in it it's so hard to see how other bird's eye view exactly and I I do think you should not everything should be like. Oh how other people view me but you still need to know kind of what you're seeing off edgy and every that my mom's friend and I think beauty as incredible as it is to be beauty right now now. It's it's a very antiquated industry. You know it's how do you mean it. You know I think it's rested on its laurels for a really long time. We've had key players driving industry for for many years and we got a little safe. You know we had a launch on January. We had a launch in March launch and September whereas now paddle on something on a random Tuesday and it's a drop everyone goes crazy. I mean that kind of mentality is very new for this industry and that's kind of the exciting part of it in the scary part of it you you know we're sort of in this revolution time so let me talk to you about how the process this is really big picture and awesome and abstract but like okay. Let's say you meet with the founder and they're like. I don't know look tired and I know you guys do way more than the look but you know what does that process like Ju Backpedal and state will who are you. Do you make mood boards. What what is it like to work with schoolhouse yeah yeah. I mean it's a lot of listening I mean I think the best ideas is for brand building. Come out of the soul of that brand. I think beauty often looks elsewhere for inspiration. You know we hear a lot of All these people are doing that and these people are doing that. We have to do that again. I mean like let's be honest about the Fanta- launch with foundation now everyone's launching with fifty shades you know that it's it's this sort of metoo usage but yes yes the following verses the leading and and I think that's it. It's it's challenging aging because retailer sort of set it up that way. You know you have the big. Sephora an old tows that you know you go in and it's ten things that are new and every month you go in in something new so there is a challenge that the industry creates for itself in a way but we try to spend a lot of time really talking to that brand versus versus looking outside of the brand for inspiration because a lot of it is baked in either the brand and the person you know in one of the founding impulses that just kind of has to be rubbed in a new way to resonate again who should do like image consulting to feel like this is all very you know the this whole conversation is. It's not just about beauty. It's about like okay who are you and what are you trying to say. so when I think about visuals and and you know how a brand manifest our cultures become so much more visual especially because of instagram and beauty everything in agendas showed me earlier before the podcast a sunscreen scream that she is that we're talking about. No solid striped okay so yes. She showed me the solid and striped sunscreen. It's so it's made for instagram a lot of the skin care right now in a you can't do this kind of European spa line. You know just little tiny print. Everything is Punchy Punchy Punchy. What are the big trends that you're you're seeing well. It's funny because it really depends what of like region you're looking at. because what we're finding is we're doing a lot of work with brands and being born and bred in China and in actually in China that European look. That's not popular in North America is actually what people are after finally want this sort sort of scaled back minimalistic because as a culture they see that as luxury you know that's because there are you know learning from the European way of doing things in in North America. We've sort of like blown all of that up and it's just total maximalism everywhere you go and so it's interesting to see the waves of change and and I zinc you know as our own culture like we're going to start to find that will back away. Yes Sir anything you and you have brand founders in your office at the like we want to maybe bring some products. They like like we're thinking neon alphabetical and Malaysia. What trends are you Kinda like all right. We think moving them away. Yeah I mean I think I mean. The pink. Thing is like the elephant in the room. I mean yeah I mean. It's it's gotten out of hand. You know even for us. I mean we find ourselves like drawn to it in the work that we're doing and then we're like shooting into. Thanks I know I remember. We tried to make Gen Z. Yellow happen. Oh that never happened on that. Blush Pink and we're all trying to change the tone like no. Oh it's page. It's rose gold. No it's it's definitely you know the millennial. The has to go overdone when anything else that you're just like can we. I'm not I mean I think when you look at all the logo redesigns and it's just Saint Laurent Balenciaga. It's interesting because you you you. You find that sort of like redone redesign happening everywhere yeah okay. Let's so that's what we're talking about brands and what they look like on instagram. There's a lot of talk right now about in-store in store experience it takes a lot of people to get people into a.